People often ask themselves and others, where was God when (insert tragedy) happens. Sadly, the United States has had enough tragedy in the last few years to ask this several times over. It’s honest, raw, and truly authentic.
After Saturday, I think people started asking themselves, if God were to show up, could He fix this?
Sunday, pastors from all over the nation stood before their church goers condemning the actions of those in Charlottesville the previous day. You may have heard your pastor talk about the need for diversity and how Christ has accepted us all regardless of our skin color. They couldn’t be more right. We’re at a tipping point in society and our stance must become solid. We’re in need of a new foundation for the future.
Regrettably, no longer do people care what you say in a church setting on a Sunday behind the closed doors of your church. A place where it’s safe to be religious or spiritual and to pray for one another. They’re not fooled into thinking you live a life of diversity when you can actually count the number of friends you have that don’t look, think, and act just like you. The world wants authenticity. The kind that isn’t afraid to get messy or rough around the edges.
Shortly after the death of Jesus in the first century, Rome was in chaos.
The rulers of the land wanted to have the title of gods and treated like gods. There was a widening gap between the institutionalized church and the new renegades. A gap between the rich and the poor. Society was shifting. The country was looking to their Caesar for answers and satisfaction was rare. As a counter culture was rising, they found themselves looking to a king, murdered by the institution it was taught to obey. A group of renegades looking to a king, instead of a Caesar.
Phrases like “Jesus is Lord” and “No one comes to the father but by Jesus” were actually preceded. In response to phrases commonly said were, “Caesar is Lord” and “No one comes to the father but by Caesar.”
Related Post: Love people for who they are, not for what they do.
While society was running low on food, there was an underlying community seeking out each other to care for the needs of one another. Although they weren’t blood relatives, they became family as they took care of one another. This group of renegades was later referred to a Christians who were following “the way“. They became a thorn in the traditions of the time not because of what they said, but because of what they did.
To answer a question, where was Jesus in Charlottesville, we must first ask ourselves, where was Jesus last Monday? Where was he on Tuesday or even Wednesday? To be a Christian and to ask this question is a heavy indictment on ourselves.
Where were we, where are we, where will we be tomorrow?
If we are going to truly break down the institution of racism in America, we must start with us. We have to begin not just inviting one another to church, but one another into our homes. Cook a meal with each other, grow roots and begin to deeply care for one another. We don’t go to church. We are the church.
When we see our brothers and sisters in pain and hurting, we don’t need to remind them there are others that hurt and have pain too. When our children fall and scrape their knees we are not to remind them other children do it also so they need to get over themselves. Showing the utmost care for my daughter when she’s hurt isn’t saying no other kid matters.
Psalms 34:18 NIV says the Lord draws near to the broken hearted and those crushed in spirit.
I think a lot of us feel crushed in spirit after this weekend. It seems the farther away we get from our past, the closer we get to repeating it. Jesus himself said in Matthew 22 the second greatest commandment is to love others as yourself. You cannot follow Jesus and hate someone for the color of their skin.
John 13:35 NIV goes on to say, “They will know you are my disciples if you love one another“.
The backdoor to this verse is they will know you are not the Lord’s disciples if you do not love one another. Jesus said in the last days, the followers will worship in spirit and in truth. If we have the truth in our hearts, we will have his spirit in our lives.
Where was Jesus in Charlottesville? He was there, amongst it all repeating what he’s said from the beginning,